Category Archives: Home Repair and News

Deciding whether to fix or ditch your broken appliance

WhentoRepairorreplaceyourapplianceMaybe your oven is not heating up as quickly as it used to, or your dishwasher stopped working. How do you know when to repair or replace your appliance? Here are some factors that will help you decide.

Research your repair

Before calling the repairman, use the internet to try to figure out what could be wrong with your appliance. It might be a small fix, or even just a matter of cleaning your appliance, or a part on your appliance — something you can do yourself. Also consult your appliance’s owner’s manual for things like fault code displays and solutions to common problems. If you no longer have your owner’s manual, use your appliance’s model number to find a digital copy online.

Some repair jobs are very simple, Continue reading

Maintain your home appliances with these tips

Cleaning and caring for your appliances not only helps them look and smell nice, it allows them to run more efficiently, use less energy and save you money. Follow these maintenance and cleaning  tips to help keep your appliances running smoothly.

Refrigerator

Clean the condenser coils and fan on the rear or bottom of your refrigerator. You can use a vacuum cleaner or a condenser coil cleaning brush.

Check and clean the gasket of your refrigerator using warm soapy water. Make sure the seal is free from cracks and is tight fitting. A loose or cracking gasket allows cold air to escape from your fridge and costs you money. If the gasket seal on your fridge is sagging, replace it with a new refrigerator gasket.

Appliance care tips

Check and clean the gasket of your refrigerator using warm soapy water.

If your freezer door is no longer closing on its own, replace the hinge’s cam riser.
Oven and stove top

Clean your oven by placing a bowl of non-sudsy ammonia on a cookie sheet and leaving it in a cold oven overnight. The fumes from the ammonia will help soften up any baked-on gunk or spills. Be sure to open a window and step back while opening your oven door to avoid the fumes from the ammonia. Use a non-abrasive damp sponge to clean the inside of your oven.

Mix up and spray on a mixture or water and vinegar to clean your oven’s door. A crumpled up newspaper makes for a streak-free shine when drying.

Check the seal of your oven door and replace the gasket if it’s broken, torn or otherwise deformed. A tight seal keeps heat inside your oven and allows food to cook quickly and evenly.

Remove and clean stove-top drip pans with warm soapy water, or replace them if damaged.

Clothes Dryer

Remove and clean the clothes dryer lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Unplug the appliance and detach the exhaust venting from the back of the clothes dryer (usually it is attached by a clamp) and clean out any lint inside the duct work and in the machine. You can use your vacuum attachments to do this, or use a clothes dryer lint brush.

Clogged ducts and vents not only make your dryer work harder to clean your clothes, it can lead to a fire.  Dirty, clogged ducts are the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Washing Machine

Regularly clean your washing machine. High efficiency front-loading washers are especially prone to mold and mildew smells due to being tightly sealed and just their design in general. Using a specialized HE cleaner, like Affresh Washer Cleaner can help eliminate odors.

Check your washer hoses for any cracks or leakage. Even if you do not see any external leaks or cracks, you could have an internal clog. Replace appliance hoses every five years for optimal performance and to avoid problems.

Dishwasher

Clean the dishwasher trap located below the bottom spray arm. Lots of food and debris (and sometimes broken glass, so be careful!) accumulate here. If removable, remove the trap and rinse out in the sink before replacing it.

Remove the utensil basket and wipe down with a cloth to remove any debris that might get stuck to it.

Remove and clean the spray arms to make sure that the holes are not plugged up with debris.

Use a cleaner like Affresh Dishwasher cleaner to remove odors and mineral deposits in your appliance.

Towel tips: cleaning, shopping and donating

Sunday is Towel Day, a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams.  Here are some towel cleaning and shopping tips, along with what to do with old towels (hint: don’t throw them out!) Don’t panic and read on.

Washing and drying towels

First, always read and follow the directions on the care tag. If the tag says, “no chlorine,” don’t use it as it may weaken the fibers of the towel.

Wicker laundry basket with two folded towels

Don’t panic! Grab a towel.

Remove musty odors from your towels by washing them in very hot water with one-to-two cups of vinegar. The water must by very hot in order to kill the bacteria causing the smell. Wash them again using one cup of baking soda. Immediately hang them up to dry or dry them in your clothes dryer.

If your washing machine is the source of musty smells, use a cleaner like Affresh, which is designed for HE washers.

Add the proper amount of detergent to your wash. Too much detergent traps odors and dirt and can fade colors.

Skip liquid fabric softener as it will interfere with the towel’s absorbency. Instead, opt for a single scent-free dryer sheet to soften your towels.

Wash new towels separately to avoid lint from transferring onto other items inside the wash.

Mix in some vinegar with your detergent in order to keep new towels looking bright and colorful.

Shopping for new towels

Are you shopping for new towels? Check the label or tag and look for 100% combed cotton, suggests GoodHousekeeing.com. 100% combed cotton towels naturally attracts water and can hold almost 25 times its weight in the liquid. They are also stronger and prevent pilling.

Don’t be deceived by the feel of the towel in-store, most manufacturers add softeners to the finish of a towel, so they feel softer.

What to do with your old towels

If you have kids, spread an old towel underneath your child’s car seat to catch juice spills and crumbs.

Cut them up and use them for cleaning rags and for washing your car.

Make a beach towel tote bag.

Turn them into a bathroom rug mat.

Donate them! Many animal shelters accept clean towels (along with hand towels and wash clothes) for animal bedding, bathing and general clean up. Contact your local animal shelter to find out what donations they accept.

Homeless and women’s shelters also accept used towels. Find a shelter near you.

Simple, cheap DIY fixes that will increase the value of your home for sale

A new coat of paint and some other simple, inexpensive fixes can spruce up your home for the spring or help you get better offers for your home or rental said licensed real estate agent and property investor Rob Karp.

House for sale

Simple, do-it-yourself fixes that will increase the value of your home for sale or property for rent.

“Just cleaning it up (your home) and throwing a coat of paint on everything; it can really mean the difference between how many offers you are going to get on your home and how much more you can sell your house for, especially depending on the neighborhood,” said Karp.  “This is all stuff you can do within a reasonable budget.”

Karp, who has been selling and investing in real estate around  Buffalo, N.Y., for nine years, gave some tips on how to inexpensively improve a home for sale or an apartment for rent during the “Spring Cleaning Show How” event by Communify  Buffalo.

Kitchens

Most home buyers want a nice kitchen and you can easily re-do a kitchen by adding a new countertop, painting your current kitchen cabinets and adding new modern hardware, such as brushed nickel, to cabinets and doors.

Bathrooms

Easy fixes for updating a bathroom include adding a new vanity (either by yourself or hiring a handyman to do it for you) and refinishing the tub with a refinishing spray kit. You can also add new sink and shower fixtures to update the look of a bathroom.

General Interior of a house

Paint goes a long way in improving the look of your home says Karp. It’s something you can do yourself or with the help of a few friends.

“Wood paneling actually doesn’t look bad if you use a nice flat paint on it,” said Karp. “You might have to prime it first.”

Check to see if there are hardwood floors under your carpet. Chances are the floors have been protected from wear and tear by ugly carpeting which can be ripped up. Wood floors can be easily revived with a little Murphy’s Oil Soap. Refinishing hard wood floors is another possibility although more work. Plenty of how-to videos exist on YouTube.com and they can teach you how to do this yourself.

“It’s something that I know plenty of people that have never touched a tool before have done themselves,” he said.

Change out light fixtures with simple dome lights or inexpensive sconces. Replace outlet covers and switch plates and match them with your lighting fixtures to give a room a nice modern uniform look.

Exterior of a house

Use top soil and seed to liven up your yard or, just throw down some black mulch to improve the look of your yard said Karp. Colored gravel is also another option that will give more of a “presentation” to an area.

Use Habitat for Humanity ReStores for inexpensive materials for remodeling your home or rental

ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, appliances and building materials to the public at prices below retail. Proceeds from sales go to support Habitat for Humanity programs, including new home builds locally and around the world. Find a restore in your area at http://www.habitat.org/restores

In Buffalo, Buffalo ReUse Stores sells donated and salvaged building materials and architectural items to the public.  Their stores carry unique, one-of-a-kind architectural pieces such as cabinets, vanities, doors, radiators, sinks and more. The philosophy behind ReUse is “repurpose, reuse and recycle.” View photos of items purchased from the store and re-purposed for new use on their website.

‘Tis The Season To Do A Thorough Cleaning

Moving your large home appliances can be such a hassle when trying to deep clean your home.  Just getting your appliance to move is one thing, but then there’s the frustration of trying not to scratch your nice hardwood or tile floors.  Here at Every Appliance Part, we love to keep our homes clean, and anything that will help make that easier, is going to be tested and tried to the fullest extent.

Recently we discovered the greatest invention ever: Glide N’ Guard.

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This nifty little pack contains six interlocking tracks made of a

special polymer plastic which allows you to simply slide your appliances in and out of their designated spots in the kitchen and laundry room.  The thick plastic guards your precious floors from scratches and scrapes, while easing the process of moving your appliance out of its spot to clean behind it (or to dig out that chew toy your pup lodged underneath it).

Luckily, this pack is inexpensive, and definitely worth the small investment.  Save your floors (and backs) from expensive repairs by trying this product out.

Let us know what you think!

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